SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – Direct Relief awarded a $144,000 grant to One805 to continue funding mental health services for Santa Barbara County first responders through the new year.
One805 said it provides services and equipment, including a mental wellness initiative that provides critical counseling and therapy to local firefighters and first responders who fight on the front lines.
"Due to what they see on a daily basis, the suicide rate among first responders is nearly double that of the general population," said Tony Pighetti, One805 board-member and retired firefighter.
"Culturally competent, confidential counseling is only made possible through the extraordinary support of generous donors like Direct Relief, and this program is directly saving the careers, families, and lives of our first responders," said Pighetti.
"It’s a particular privilege for Direct Relief to join in this critically important effort to support Firefighters and First Responders in our home community, whose members have carried Direct Relief on its shoulders for 75 years and provided unfailing support to extend help wherever it is needed,” said Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe.
"Many of us know that Direct Relief addresses needs across the globe, but few of us know of the the commitment they have demonstrated locally," said Santa Barbara County Fire Chief, Mark Hartwig. "They have made significant contributions to the Firehawk and other equipment, and now they are generously contributing to One805 so that our firefighters and their families can receive the best mental health services as they deal with the daily stresses associated with with their role as first responders."
For more information and how to get involved, visit: one805.org.